Former World Football Player Lothar Matthäus quizzes on archaeological topics


Former World Football Player Lothar Matthäus quizzes on archaeological topics

In the well-known ARD quiz show "Wer weiß denn sowas?", broadcast on 6 January 2021, former world football player Lothar Matthäus, together with his quiz partner Bernhard Hoëcker and despite the support of telephone joker Dominik Hoffmann, failed on the following question:

Due to the brain's tendency, known in psychology, to direct its own attention to the left rather than to the right, ...?

  • A - the first violins have been sitting to the left of the conductor since the 19th century.
  • B - in the Stone Age, new settlements were built slightly rotated to the left.
  • C - the right side of paintings was darker in the Romantic period.

They agreed on A as the right answer. But the correct answer is, of course, B! The question refers to recently published results of CRC 1266-subproject C2 . It was shown, that newly built houses in Neolithic settlements of the Linearbandkeramik are slightly rotated to the left in the longitudinal direction compared to the previous house generation. We relate this to the effect known as pseudoneglect, which favours the left visual field over the right.

By the way, Lothar Matthäus and his teammates could have justifiably objected as the wording is not quite correct: It is not the settlements that are built slightly rotated, it is the houses.

Anyway, we are excited to see how quickly our scientific results have been transferred into everyday knowledge.

Original publication:   
Müller-Scheeßel, N., Müller, J., Cheben, I., Mainusch, W., Rassmann, K., Rabbel, W., Corradini, E. and Furholt, M. (2020). A new approach to the temporal significance of house orientations in European Early Neolithic settlements. PLOS ONE 15: e0226082. ·
The publication is available online for free.